Teaview: Earl Grey part II

I’m going to admit something that will make me seem uncultured (like that time I admitted to wondering why Thanksgiving was never celebrated in Harry Potter).  I thought Earl Grey tea was named after a man named Earl– Earl Grey.  It’s not!  “Earl” was actually a title used to show ranks of nobility in the United Kingdom.  The Earl Grey blend was named after the 2nd Earl Grey whose first name is actually Charles.  He served as British Prime minister in the 1830s.  Supposedly, the black tea and bergamot oil were blended specifically for him.  That’s the end of my history lesson.  On to more pressing matters– like a review of Teavana’s Earl Grey tea.

I had high hopes for Teavana’s Earl Grey tea.  When the sales lady fanned the delightful scent of black tea and citrus in my direction, I practically began to salivate.  I thought, “This could be it!  This could be the Earl Grey I have been waiting for.”  However, after I returned home and brewed a cuppa, I discovered Teavana’s Earl Grey tea did not live up to my expectations.  That’s not to say the brew was bad.  It’s just the fragrant, citrus scent that wafted in front of my nose was indecipherable in taste.

The one upside to this tea is the price– it’s inexpensive.  I think I spent about six dollars on enough tea to make nearly 60 cups.  When I first began drinking Teavana’s Earl Grey, I thought I’d eventually return to the store to buy more.  If anything, it’s a cheap way to get a caffeine fix.  But, overtime I decided I’d rather continue on my journey to find that Earl Grey that is just right even if it is just a bit pricier.

Bottom Line, would I turn away a cuppa if someone offered it to me?  No.  But, I would rather spend my money on another brand’s blend of Earl Grey.

If you are fond of Earl Grey, is there a brand you prefer?  So far, I’ve only really enjoyed the blend created by Twinnings!

Teaview: Earl Grey and Sweet Rose

I dream one day I will be able to dedicate an entire kitchen cabinet to my growing tea collection.  Until then, the bottom shelf of my old television stand will have to suffice, but even that is filling up fast.  Yet, I decided to try out two new teas:  Meijer Organics Earl Grey and Organic India’s Sweet Rose.

I love Earl Grey; I have never met a tea drinker who doesn’t.  It gives the drinker a nice kick of energy.  The citrusy bergamot oil really shines in hot tea, but Earl Grey is equally refreshing when iced and slightly sweetened. I have a tendency to go through boxes of Earl Grey tea quickly.

I am, what most would consider, a penny pincher, so when I passed a shelf filled with Meijer Organic Teas for something like 2.50 a box, I couldn’t turn it down.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Meijer, it is a superstore like Wal-mart, but classier.  Anyway, a box of my usual Twinnings Earl Grey is not too expensive, but I’m always eager to save a buck or two.

Excited about this cheaper alternative, I rushed home, quickly brewed myself a cuppa, and cuddled into blankets for movie night with the boyfriend.  I happily sipped until I realized something was missing.  Where was the bergamot flavor?  How can a tea be called Earl Grey if it is missing that lovely bergamot flavor?!

Bottom line: The tea is not bad.  I’ve had rather a lot of it already, and I’m actually brewing myself a cuppa right now.  It has a decent, strong black tea flavor, and it has plentiful caffeine.  However, this is one of those instances where cheap is not better.  I’d rather spend a few more dollars to ensure I can actually taste the bergamot.

I also purchased Organic India’s Sweet Rose since I do have a penchant for floral flavors.  Sweet Rose is a fragrant,  herbal blend of Tulsi (a type of herb grown in India that supposedly relieves stress and energizes drinkers without the addition of caffeine), Chamomile, Rose petals, Lemon Myrtle, and Stevia leaves.

The initial flavor is delightful; it’s rosy and lightly sweetened (because of the Stevia leaves).  The flavor of Sweet Rose is not unlike a Turkish Delight, and one thing most people don’t know about me is I LOVE Turkish Delights!  Unfortunately, this tea has to be sipped somewhat quickly.  Once it cools down, the flavor changes.  It becomes more…leafy?  Stem-flavored?  Grass flavored?  I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Bottom line: While I don’t think this is the kind of tea I can enjoy every day, I am quite pleased I have added it to my collection.  Organic India’s Sweet Rose truly was delish!